Simply Living adds panel to Midwest Regional Sustainability Summit

The Midwest Regional Sustainability Summit is one of the top sustainability conferences in the country, and this year Simply Living is proud to be a part.

We have organized a panel on “Creative Solutions to Community Solar in Ohio” — highlighting how, even though Ohio does not have enabling legislation for community solar, several groups are finding ways to do it anyway. The panel will take place Friday, May 14, at 3 p.m. Register:

Among the panelists are:

Jonathan Welle, an organizer at Cleveland Owns, a nonprofit that incubates cooperative enterprises to grow a humane, democratic economy. Two of those enterprises, The Cleveland Solar Cooperative and The BC, promote energy democracy through community ownership of solar arrays.

Sam Dickerson, a member of the BC Block Club, a resident-owned community solar project in the Hough community in Cleveland. He is a passionate community servant with the ability to motivate and inspire individuals to maximize their awareness and fulfill their highest purpose in life. \

David Dwyer entered the renewable energy field in 2003, training in solar electric, solar thermal, and geothermal technologies. Dwyer was the AEE Chicago Energy Executive of the Year in 2009. Dwyer is a LEED AP, NABCEP certified PV Professional, Licensed Commercial General Contractor, Electrician and Electrical Contractor in Ohio and Illinois.

Tristan Rader is the program director of Solar United Neighbors of Ohio, a nonprofit focused on rebuilding our energy system with rooftop solar as a cornerstone. He also serves on Lakewood City Council, leading the city’s efforts to a sustainable future.

The community solar panel will be moderated by Simply Living Executive Director Cathy Cowan Becker, who will talk about the our support of the People’s Solar Project, a demonstration community solar and microgrid that will generate 5 MW of solar energy to power 80 homes, five churches and two city schools in a 300-acre area on Cooke Road.

Each year, Green Umbrella, Greater Cincinnati’s regional sustainability alliance, partners with the City of Cincinnati, Brueggeman Center for Dialogue at Xavier University, Hamilton County Planning and Development, and Greater Cincinnati Green Business Council, to present the Midwest Regional Sustainability Summit, a three-day conference that shares the latest ideas and best practices in environmental sustainability at the regional level.

​The summit brings together businesses, government representatives, experts, non-profits, and residents committed to building a more environmentally sustainable and economically vibrant region. This year, the summit will be held virtually, Wednesday – Friday, May 12-14, 2021.

This year’s keynote speaker is Joan Fitzgerald, Professor of Urban and Public Policy at Northeastern University. She focuses on urban climate action and strategies for linking it to equity, economic development, and innovation. In her fourth book, Greenovation: Urban Leadership on Climate Change (Oxford Univ. Press, 2020), she argues that the climate strategies of too many cities represent random acts of greenness rather than integrated and aggressive action. She points to leading cities in North America and Europe and offers strategies for lagging cities to accelerate their action. Her ongoing Climate Just Cities Project examines strategies for post-Covid urban climate action to emphasize equity. She blogs on viral inequality and urban climate action on Planetizen.

Get the full conference agenda and register at

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